Parents Going Thru Divorce: 7 Tips for Back-to-School Challenges of Youngsters
Early September is symbolic of many things including the close of the summer season and, of course, kids going back to school. I bet you’ve seen the iconic school buses (or maybe even been stuck behind them).
You probably braved the back-to-school sales to stock up on supplies, new clothes, and all else that comes with the start of a new school year. That is the fun part. But what about the tough parts that you may remember as a child…
Have you seen signs of any of the following: Separation Anxiety, Emotional Overload, Exhaustion or Bullying, and Social Struggles. If so, here are some tips as suggested by Columbus psychologist David Lowenstein (I just attended one of his seminars last week on Bullying).
Separation anxiety is defined as anxiety provoked in a young child by separation or the threat of separation from their parents.
Tips for dealing with separation anxiety:
- Develop a goodbye ritual
- Practice separation
- Help make new surroundings familiar.
Emotional Overload is feeling overstimulated and believing there is too much to do and not enough time to do it.
Tips for dealing with emotional overload:
- Help your child develop a routine around homework.
- Be sure your child is getting a good night’s sleep.
- Listen. Ask about your child’s day at school.
Exhaustion is defined as a state of extreme physical or mental fatigue
Tips for dealing with exhaustion:
- Be sure your child is eating healthy food. Good energy comes from good food.
- Help your child develop a routine around bedtime.
- Make sure your child is disconnected from TV, video games, computers, etc. at least an hour before bed. This will help him/her wind down and get a good night’s sleep.
Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.
Tips for dealing with bullying:
- Encourage your child to show the minimal reaction to their bullies
- Help your child to believe in him/herself, even in the face of bullies.
- Talk to your child’s teachers to get a sense of what their social situation is like.
Going back to school can be fun. The routine, the constant socialization, and even learning excite some children.
Other children – perhaps even most children -- experience some nervousness when it’s time to return to school. They might ask: Who will be my teacher? Who will be in my class? How will I know where to go? What if I don’t like the teacher or my classmates or my schedule?
For some families, the back-to-school transition is very difficult. Some children don’t enjoy school.
They don’t like the social aspects and struggle to fit in. We all know that bullying is a serious issue that far too many children are subjected to. I
f your child is the subject of such bullying or struggles in social situations, don’t be surprised if going back to school is hard.
Keep in contact with your child’s teacher(s) to get a sense of what your child’s social situation is like. And talk to your child about bullying and how to deal with it.
Other children struggle with the sheer exhaustion of school. It’s not easy getting out of bed at the crack of dawn. Here, you can help your child establish good sleeping habits and make sure he/she is “disconnected” a while before going to bed.
There are other issues children face when the back-to-school season is upon us. Keep in mind that while sending your child off to school might be exciting and even monumental for you as parents, the transition isn’t always easy on children.
So, if you are going through a divorce or thinking about it, you may be very alone in your decision-making. Keep a close eye on your kids.
They have enough on their plates. If you need help dealing with these issues as you think about ending your marriage, give us a call at 740 369-7567. We will be glad to help.
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